tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 18, 2013 12:00am-1:00am EDT
center left electoral politics. sam seder from the majority report and jess mcintosh from emily's list, thank you. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. thanks to you at home staying with us for the next hour. happy thursday. last night as the congress was finally at the very last minute, less than two hours before midnight, finally taking the votes they had to take to reopen the government and avert the debt ceiling disaster, as that was happening last night in washington, a couple hundred miles north, one very happy democrat was taking the stage with such excitement and such happiness that the stage itself almost could not physically bear it. this was so great. watch this. >> all rise! thank you, everybody! thank you, new jersey! all rise!
well, this is an extraordinary night. >> throws the microphone, like he's going to rip it right off the podium. who needs a microphone! you guys can hear me, right?! rawr! america's happiest and newest elected official, cory booker, who won the open u.s. senate seat last night in the great state of new jersey. and you know, even though mr. booker was not in d.c. yet, for all of the mess that d.c. just went thrgh, it is hard to not see his election last night in terms of how messed up washington is right now and what a trauma they've just put themselves through. it's hard not to look at his election in terms of how this trauma may have changed washington. how the parties involved and the players involved may, potentially at least, see themselves differently from here on out after having survived what we just went through. >> there is work to do. you know there's work to do. when no matter who you love, gay or straight, still are treated equally under the law.
you know there's work to do. when you can have a full-time job in america and work with honor and dignity, but still live in poverty. you know we have work to do. when you're a woman, you know there's work to do. when you're a woman in america who works the same job as a man, but you can't get the same pay. we have work to do. and we have work to do to defend the progress we've made to make sure that anyone with a pre-existing condition, and that no matter how sick you are, you can still have access to affordable health care, and be free of financial worry. we have work to do. and so let's get to work! but i want to end on a personal note. you know, i've had a week now to
reflect on this campaign in a way that i did not want or imagine. as many of you know, this past thursday, my father died. god, i wish he was here physically. but i know he is here in spirit. i want to be clear about what my dad and my mom taught me. they taught me about self-reliance. they taught me about having an intense work ethic. my mom and my dad taught me my very first lessons about what an incredible privilege it is to be able to call yourself an american. >> the father of senator-elect cory booker of new jersey died a week ago today, so just a few days before his son's election to the u.s. senate. he never lived to see his son
ascend to this new height in public service. that is sadly similar to what happened to president barack obama when his grandmother passed away the day before he was first elected president. president obama's grandmother had played such an important role in raising him, he was very, very close with her. you may remember the night before president obama was elected in 2008, he was at an outdoor rally in north carolina, it was this very dramatic moment, when he's in the rain, giving this speech, and he had to tell that crowd that his grandmother had died. this was just the night before the election. president obama, of course, is now in his second term as president and he has weathered a lot of crises since he has been president. the most serious of the self-imposed washington crises since he's been president finally ended last night when congress finally reopened the government and raised the debt ceiling. the president was able to sign that legislation, doing both those things, just after midnight. but then this morning, with the government slowly starting to
reopen. president obama made remarks at the white house, speaking before some federal employees who had been furloughed during the shutdown. and he talked at the white house about what just happened, about what he thinks ought to be learned about what just happened. and what he hopes happens next. and when he made these remarks today at the white house, he sounded a little bit like 2008 again. he went back to the very first themes, the very first basic message that he ran on in the first place in 2008. the message that washington has to change, that there has to be a more adult way of handling the governing of the country, that we need to grow up and prioritize good governance in washington over everything else that seems to drive us instead. >> but, all my friends in congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change. and now that the government has reopened, and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus
on what the majority of americans sent us here to do. let's face it, the american people don't see every issue the same way. but that doesn't mean we can't make progress. and when we disagree, we don't have to suggest that the other side doesn't love this country or believe in free enterprise or all the other rhetoric that seems to get worse every single year. if we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on. >> the president in his remarks today also spoke directly to federal workers, who had been furloughed during the shutdown and are now coming back. he told them, thank, thanks for your service, he said. welcome back. what you do is important, he said. it matters. don't let anybody else tell you differently. that was a real priority message today for the administration, to welcome back people who work for the federal government, to tell them how much they're appreciated, to apologize that they had to go through this, to
talk about how valued and important their work is. the white house chief of staff, denis mcdonough, is out in front of the white house on the sidewalk today, hugging people and welcoming them back. vice president joe biden went to the environmental protection agency and he brought muffins with him. he hugged everybody. there he is with the epa administrator, gena mccarthy. the cabinet members all went out and greated people as they came back today. with vice president biden specifically, you do sort of get the feeling like maybe he wans to show up at everybody's workplace with muffins every day, but at least he made sure to do it today. from the president, though, in addition to the welcome back message and sticking up for what those workers do every day, saying that the government does important work, the president also had some not harsh words, i would say, but some bluntly admonishing comments for the people who made this shutdown and this brinksmanship happen, for the republicans in congress who voted for the shutdown and who voted last night to not reopen the government, to go ahead and hit the debt ceiling to try to get their way. >> let's work together to make government work better.
instead of treating it like an enemy or purposefully making it work worse, that's not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self-government. you don't like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position. go out there and win an election. push to change it. but don't break it. don't break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. that's not being faithful to what this country is about. >> that is not being faithful to what this country is about. it's almost like the president's words there are harsher than the tone with which he delivered them, right? i mean, it's kind of a kick in the teeth to tell somebody, you are not being faithful to this country in what you have done. that is a heck of an accusation, particularly for somebody whose
job is in public service. not being faithful to the country. so it's a big deal that the president said it, but in tone, he said it sort of less with anger than with resignation. if you're looking for the anger, the anger is coming from other democrats. massachusetts freshman senator elizabeth warren today sent out an e-mail that was picked up on "huffington post" and widely republished. her e-mail said, "i'm glad that the government shutdown has ended and i'm relieved that we didn't default on our debt, but i want to be clear, i am not celebrating tonight. yes, we prevented an economic catastrophe that would have put a huge hole in our fragile economic recovery, but the reason that we were in this mess in the first place is that a reckless faction in congress took the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose. according to the s&p index, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt. the republicans keep trying to cut funding for the things that would help us build a future, but they are ready to flush away
$24 billion on a political stunt?" she closes, "so i am relieved, but i am also pretty angry. i hope we never see our country flush money away like this again. not ever. it is time for the hostage-taking to end. it's time for every one of us to say, no more." that anger from elizabeth warren in the senate echoed last night on the house floor by the top democrat in the house, nancy pelosi. >> my colleagues, do you think that your recklessness was worth $24 billion to our economy? this recklessness is a luxury the american people cannot afford. >> the big question mark in washington, of course, sort of since the end of the bush administration, but particularly right now, the big question in washington, is what happens to the republican party now? right now, the question is, what happens to them immediately
after this political disaster that they put themselves through and that they put the country through. that is the big question understandably, because it is absolutely unpredictable in terms of what happens to the republican party next. the civil war in that party is unresolved, and fascinating, but also unforeseeable in terms of its outcomes. that said, what's happening on the democratic side is maybe just as interesting, even if it's not getting as much attention. nancy pelosi was the democratic speaker of the house. she would be democratic speaker of the house again if the end results of this political disaster the republicans just had is that they lose the house to the democrats in 2014. elizabeth warren, she's only in her first year in the senate, but of course she has a huge national profile. she's already considered to be a top tier presidential prospect for the nomination for the democratic party in this cycle or the next. then there's the party's newest household name, cory booker, who built himself a huge national profile, just as mayor of newark, new jersey. but who as we speak, is on his way to washington to join the united states senate. but you look at nancy pelosi with her experienced
exasperation on the house floor. you look at elizabeth warren with her stated fury. you look at cory booker with his trademark earnestness and optimism. you look at president obama with his continuity between his message of hope in 2008, which is now the same message, but delivered more with resignation and weariness in 2012, 2013. if you look at what these democrats are saying, in contrast with the absolute civil war on the right, where they are tearing each other down, disagreeing with each other, not just tactically, but on substance, and none of them, none of them are pulling each other along. you look at these guys in contrast to what's happening on the republican side, and these democrats, these different quadrants of the democratic party, they are all singing from the same playbook. not only are they not blaming each other, not trying to one-up each other, they are all making the same case in the same way. they're all making the case for government that works well, because what government does is important. and when you mess up government,
it messes with the american people. and because of that shared conviction, you hear them all, all at different emotional timbers, right, but all making the same point, in denouncing and deriding those in washington and those in our politics broadly, who wont government not to work, who are out to undermine it and damage it and destroy the american people's faith in it. >> and we hear all the time about how government is the problem. >> every time you turn on the tv, you see it. pundits tell us how little regard we have for washington, for congress. how cynical we have become about the work being done in our nation's capitol. >> for years now, we've heard a small minority in this country rail against government. >> that is the place from which democrats pivot to their position, to their vision. that is what all democrats agree has been the problem in the way things have been up until now in
our politics. republicans told you that government is the problem. it's not. government that has to work. republicans control the overarching narrative about americans in our government for the last 30 years. even democratic president bill clinton won the presidency by accepting that republican narrative and running against government, right? saying that even as a democrat, he would shrink government. he would get government out of people's way. government needed to be reinvented. let's contract everything out. let's shrink the government. government's bad. the republican reagan-era narrative that government is an evil that must be minimized and undermined and above all else, derided for political aim, seems to be done now. the republicans are in a lot of different places right now and the drama is over there is kinetic and fascinating, but for the democrats right now, we are at just as interesting a moment. the evil of government era is over. and democrats right now, politically, have the luxury of
both unity and clarity of vision. with democrats knowing what they want to do, which is to preach that good governance and technocratic good stewardship of the federal government is an appropriate way to repay the american people's trust in electing you. with the democrats in agreement on that, good governance in a way that is not overtly ideological. with democrats unified behind the idea that government is okay, with that luxury, is there anything they can do to help the other side? is there anything they can do to try to build a two-party state, where both sides make sense. where the arguments get better? is there anything that the democrats can do from their position of luxury, of unity and clarity to help the republicans find some of it of their own, after this disastrous and embarrassing spectacle of infighting and incoherence and how it played out publicly to the nation's detriment over the last three weeks. a one-party state is not a good thing. can the democrats make the opposition more constructive, or
at least can they make the nonanarchist wing of the republican party start winning some of those intraparty fights. joining us now, michael beslosch. is there a precedent in the modern history that one party thought it was in their interest to help the other party along? >> i think that's right, because i think that from democrats' point of view, if you're right, that the democratic ideology that government may be actually better than all these anti-government people are saying, the ship may be coming in, in that case, what you benefit from is a fair fight in a fair system. and no one benefits when you have a system where you've got a group of people, as you've had during the last two weeks, who feel so angry and so powerless. you know, power corrupts, but sometimes lack of power corrupts even more, that they do what they did for the last two weeks in causing this government shutdown. you know, if you feel that the wave is coming your direction, you benefit by having a system in which the fights are fought fairly, because you're likely to
win. >> in the speech this afternoon, it's been a theme for him all along, but i think he articulated it most fully this afternoon. president obama said, our founders didn't envision treating government like an enemy. nobody envisioned treating government, in such a way to actually, purposefully make it worse in order to capitalize on people's dissatisfaction with it. has the country seen that type of antipathy toward government like we have today, in other times? >> sure, there are periods in which people are angry, the slavery people. you can go all the way through american history, which there are big issues that people get very angry about. although, in general, they have not gone to the huge dysfunction that we've seen the last the two weeks, where everything just stops and there's no negotiation and no talking. you're absolutely right. and so is the president. that's what the founders wanted. they couldn't have reviled government, because rachel, remember how hard americans fought to get our government to get this system in the first place. you know, we have lived in a
system in the colonies where we were under the rule from london. finally, we had a system that functioned. you know, why would anyone execrate that? >> in terms of the balance of power in washington, i think in generic terms, it's all a good thing if the other side is split and you're unified. you said after president obama was inaugurated for the second time, he probably only had six months to get anything done, and then he wouldn't able to. does this change that? >> i think i was not too wrong. if we had this conversation at month six in july, i think we would have said that i was maybe not too wrong there. i think he may have a little bit of a chance, because, you know, given what's happened the last two weeks, it may be like the breaking of a fever. you know, all these tea party republicans kept on saying, you know, you led us do what we want and we'll show you, we'll actually get what we want and reduce the size of the government.
it was obviously a dismal failure. most republicans even agree with that. so that's happened. so now it's almost as if this second term is beginning all over again, in an atmosphere which i think the moderates, the non-tea party republicans are actually strengthened in congress. >> that is exactly what it feels like to me. i feel like this is the start of, if not the start of the term, at least the start of something. this feels like day one of something, in a way that previous crises have not made me feel that way. >> we feel exactly the same way. and i think the president talked that way when he appeared this morning. >> fascinating. nbc news presidential historian, michael beschloss, always great to have you here, michael. >> thank you, rachel. great to see you. >> thanks. all right. turns out this whole problem that we have, where we have a debt ceiling crisis every time we just started to forget about the last one, turns out there is a way to prevent it. if you were alive before 1995, you have been alive to experience the soothing calm that this cure instills. we can do anytime we want. and that story is coming up. ♪
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poll since july. virginia voters have now said in more than 20 consecutive polls that they would pick democratic terry mcauliffe over ken cuccinelli. especially virginia women. the poll released today shows mr. cuccinelli still losing among virginia women. this time, the gender gap is 20 points. there's just an amazing gender gap in this race. turns out radical social conservatism has consequences. >> really, given that god does judge nations, it's amazing that abortion has run as far and foully as it has without what i would consider to be a greater imposition of judgment on this country. who knows what the future holds. >> ken cuccinelli speaking just last year, wondering why god hasn't yet unleashed more of his wrath upon us as a nation, as punishment for abortion being legal in the united states. he says, "who knows what the future holds, though."
well, while we are awaiting that word from our heavenly sponsor, ken cuccinelli's opponent in the governor's race has decided to make the most of the ken cuccinelli god's wrath for abortion basement tapes. and in keeping with the same theme, the terry mcauliffe campaign today released this. >> i'm very troubled by ken cuccinelli. >> he tried to change virginia's divorce laws. >> to prevent women from getting out of a bad marriage. >> ken cuccinelli denies climate change exists. >> and he used taxpayer dollars to investigate a uba professor doing research. >> and cuccinelli tried to ban common forms of birth control. >> even the pill. >> even the pill. >> ken cuccinelli is just way too extreme. >> way too extreme. >> way too extreme. >> way too extreme for virginia. >> race for virginia governor is expected to be close, even if only for structural reasons. virginia holds off-off-year elections, which tends to make for a low turnout. low turnout always tends to favor republicans.
a few thousand votes here or there is likely all it would take to sway this race. and so, naturally, virginia republicans have now arranged for a massive voter purge right before the election, with just weeks to go before the mcauliffe/cuccinelli race, the republican-dominated virginia state board of elections has declared that 57,000 virginia voters should be purged off the rolls, immediately, before this election that everybody thinks will be decided by not all that many votes. as we've previously reported, virginia democrats have been suing to try to stop the purge. interestingly, in some counties, local boards of elections have refused to go ahead with the purge until after the election, so they can make sure they have time to do it right. these are even local republican officials who are saying no to the purge. but meanwhile, whether or not you get purged sort of depends on where you live. in some counties, notably in the county with more democratic voters in the state than any
other, the purge has steamed right ahead, quietly continued. in court filings this week, we learned that nearly 40,000 virginia voters already have had their names erased from the rolls. 40,000 registrations gone in a snap. democrats are suing to have those people un-purged, but who knows? republicans in virginia control the state board of elections, because the current governor is a republican and he gets to appoint a majority of his party to the board. republicans also control all of the local county boards of elections, most of which have been busy purge virginia voters off the rolls before this election. but republicans control more than that. now that virginia democrats are suing to try to stop this purge of tens of thousands of voters by the republicans, right before the election, guess who's fighting on the other side of the legal fight? guess who is defending that voter purge in court.
that would be the office of the top legal official for the commonwealth of virginia, the attorney general. the attorney general's office advises the state board of elections, both before the vote, during the purge, and also later, during the election, if there are problems in the election itself, or in the way the votes get counted or in who gets a ballot and who doesn't. by the way, that would be a ballot that just happens to have the attorney general's own name on it. mr. cuccinelli is the first attorney general in 30 years in virginia to not step down from the attorney general job, because he's running the for governor. so his office will be on election day and already is now in court litigating the circumstances of his own run for governor. what could possibly go wrong? in the nation, we know how you feel about your car.
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as a senior member of the obama administration, he was instrumental in the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. he made a bold public case for why the u.s. should find a way to declare an end to the war on terror. he made the first public push for the administration to be more open about drone strikes on some of the most important and sensitive issues facing the obama administration, this guy has been the tall poppy. he has been the one willing to stick his neck out before anybody else. he left the administration right after the election, went back to private life, but now as of today, he is coming back in a big and unexpected way that basically nobody saw coming. and that story is straight ahead. [ mixer whirring ]
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said we would start to risk defaulting before the congress got it together to stop that from happening. the last time we got this close to this particular kind of disaster was 1979. i was 6. in 1979, the president was a democrat, jimmy carter. but republicans found a way to do in 1979 what they just did last night, which is to bring us to within a day of hitting the debt ceiling. republicans in 1979 forced a down to the wire fight over the debt ceiling that year, trying to use it as leverage for an amendment to the constitution that they wanted. that fight in 1979 and what it did to us have almost been lost to history. i think mostly because the exact time when we came to the brink that year, that exact same week was also when we had a legitimate national emergency in the three-mile island nuclear meltdown. but even though that debt ceiling problem isn't widely remembered from that year, we did technically default on some of our debt because of that crisis.
congress thought they'd reached a deal at the last minute, just in time to avert default, but they got too close to the deadline and the treasury technically did default on a bunch of loans that came due. the system got overloaded, there was no time, and those loans were not paid back when they were supposed to be. that crisis, that getting too close to the debt ceiling cost the country in a long-term way. if you add up the cost of all the extra interest we had to pay on debt, because of that down to the wire glitchy default in 1979, it adds up to $12 billion in just the first decade and then more after that. but if that scalding experience with hitting the debt ceiling is largely forgotten in history, what is even more forgotten in history is how we fixed it in washington so that kind of thing didn't happen again for a long time after. at the time of that calamity in 1979, at the time of the three mile island overshadowed debt ceiling crash. the speaker of the house at that time was tip o'neill from massachusetts. and that year he put a young democratic congressman from missouri named dick gephardt in charge of the debt ceiling dirty business. he put him in charge of getting everybody to vote to raise the debt ceiling every time they
needed to. josh green wrote about this week at "bloomberg businessweek." now, the way that system worked, it was a two-step process for congress. first, they'd stop to pass a budget. then they would have a separate second vote they would have to take to raise the debt ceiling in order to accommodate all of that spending the they just voted more if these were two separate votes. number one, do you want to buy this stuff, and number two, do you want the money to pay for that stuff you said you would just buy. in 1979, in charge of getting that second really annoying vote, dick gephardt said, let's not do this anymore. this is a terrible job. everybody wants to spend the money, but nobody wants to raise the debt ceiling to get the
money to pay for it. so what we're going to do, when we have the first vote. when we pass the budget saying how much we want to spend on stuff, we are just going to say the second vote happened too. we will just deem implicitly that the debt ceiling has also risen by that much. it's all going to be one vote, not two. problem solved. that is how they solved the problem. after that nasty little glitchy nightmare we had in 1979, where we did actually hit the debt ceiling and it cost us billions of dollars, after that, they fixed it. they fixed it that year so it would not happen again. it became known as the gephardt rule after dick gephardt. no more separate vote on the debt ceiling, just deem it done when you pass the budget. and that's how it worked for years and years and years. that's how it worked right up until 1995, when the republicans got control of the house for the first time in a generation, newt gingrich took over as speaker of the house, and he and his fellow
revolutionaries decided that that debt ceiling thing was better off not fixed. they wanted to use the threat of hitting the debt ceiling again to threaten president clinton and the country to try to get their way. so they suspended the dick gephardt rule that had fixed that problem many years earlier, and we went back to brinksmanship and the threat of national fault for the pure partisan purpose of political blackmail. for years, though, it's forgotten to history, but for years, the gephardt rule worked. it prevented any risk of a default or a government shutdown. but in 1995, republicans suspended it. we figured out a way to fix this thing in freaking 1979, after that year's disastrous and costly default. but then in the 1990s, we broke it again on purpose. america. part of the deal that congress struck last night to avert default is an agreement that democrats and republicans will
get together and engage in negotiations over the budget and how we do the budget in an ongoing way. by refusing to play republican reindeer games in this particular shutdown fight, by forcing the republicans to climb down with nothing to show for themselves after taking us to the brink, democrats, as of last night, have already reestablished the principle that you cannot hold the country hostage to try to win things that you can't get through normal politics. that is established, as of last night. but why not also say, now, you are never getting the opportunity to do this again. why not reinstate the old rule? why not reinstate the old gephardt rule as part of these negotiations over the budget? it worked from 1979 until republicans suspended it 16 years later in the 1990s. why not put it back in place now? would that work? because of how close we got this time, the ratings agency fitch now says that the united states is in line for a possible credit
rating downgrade. that might still happen, even though a deal was reached last night at the last minute. the ratings agency standard & poor's estimates that the government shutdown has already taken $24 billion out of the u.s. economy. they say the shutdown shaved at least 0.6% off u.s. economic growth for the last quarter of this year. all of this damage has already been done, just by getting this close to the brink, just by having this fight again this year, just by getting this close. how about, let's not do this again ever. would it work to put back in place the rule, the old fix that prevented this for happening for nearly two decades? hold on. stay with us. we're about to find out. a tree falls in the forest and no one's around, it does make a sound? ohhh...ohhh...oh boy! i'm falling. everybody look out! ahhhhh...ugh. little help here.
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this was exactly -- >> absolutely none, no. i'm extremely proud of john boehner. i think he did a wonderful job. >> we, indeed, will continue to fight. we're not going anywhere. we're going to go upstairs and take this vote. and then we're going to go home for a couple of days. but we're coming back early next week and continue to fight the good fight. i think the strategy was a good strategy. >> we lost the battle, but we're going to win the war. at the end of the day, republicans had some great principles and we fought those principles. i'm looking forward to the next round. >> "looking forward to the next round." which part of the next round are
republican members of congress looking forward to, exactly? how about we never, ever do what we just did again? what would it take to make that happen? what would it take to take the debt ceiling and government shutdowns off the table? okay, at least just the debt ceiling. joining us now is the ranking member of the house rules committee, congresswoman louise slaughter of new york. congresswoman slaughter, great to have you here tonight. >> oh, it's a pleasure. glad to see you, rachel. >> is there a way to change the rules in the house like they did in 1979 to make the whole debt ceiling debacle not happen again? >> you know, something really has to be done here. it's really become a tool of blackmail and extortion, to tell you the truth, a blunt instrument. it doesn't make any sense. and there's a section in the federal budget that's known as the appropriate level of the public debt. and once the debt -- the budgets are agreed on by both houses and ready to go, that figure goes in.
that is the debt limit, in my view. we could use that, is whatever that budget says needs to be spent, for that year. you know, we do the budget a year ahead for the following year. that should be the debt limit. and when we vote for the budget, it should take care of it. now, i know the gephardt rule certainly was a great improvement over what we had been doing. but i -- it's been too easy to get rid of. and i'm very much concerned about that. i can't believe, rachel, what we've gone through and what the country has gone through. we've upended everything for three months and then to have to go through this again. and everything i've seen and heard indicates that we will go through exactly this again. and i'm hoping that we can look to make some rules changes. we do rules changes in the house the first session of the term. with any luck, we can get a new term and a new congress and democrats taking over and nancy pelosi speaker and we can do something about this right away. but it really needs doing. no question about it.
>> when you see those conservative house republicans who had been among those who were really pushing for the shutdown, among those who voted not to restart the government and to go ahead and hit the debt ceiling. when you see them say, they're looking forward to round two, and they're going to do this all over again, and we know that another set of deadlines is coming up in january and february, everybody, except them, feels exhausted and i think enervated by that prospect -- >> and angry. >> and i think you're seeing that too. the other thing that's happening is this budget negotiation, which is supposedly not just about what the budget should be, but about the process. in that negotiation, whether or not you're hopeful about how fruitful that discussion is going to be, is that the place where they could work out new rules, where we don't keep hitting this limit? >> no, we would have to do a little bit deeper than that. they repeal gephardt rule and then brought it back. i think it was repealed in 2001, brought back in 2003.
repealed again in 2011. that can be done. but my sense of it would have to be one of the house rules changes. i could be wrong about that. i'm not a parliamentarian by any means. but i tell you i had a chance to talk with senator morie last week. i think you know how democrats feel, made it clear in the last debate where we are coming from. to negotiate with ryan on the ryan budget the one that passed the house is terrifying to me. that budget did grievous harm to the things we care about in this country. they continue the $40 billion for oil companies to encourage them to do drilling but they don't care a bit about taking away all the nutrition and w.i.c. and programs for the poor. but then we can get together and sing a rousing chorus of "amazing grace" and make it all
right. it is really terrifying to me what's going to come out of this conference. >> it is interesting -- interesting that the republicans who are critical of this whole process from the right, the far right republicans who wanted shutout and everything, they're saying no matter what happens they reject what comes out of the conference. they don't expect there will be anything there? >> you know something, john boehner is a mystery to me. i have to admit that. i have known him a long time. i have been here casually. but when you got 233 members of your caucus why on earth would you let 20 or 30 of them run the place? i -- i am puzzled, i wish i could ask him. maybe i will try to do that. but that doesn't make any sense to me. every member tells you what our republican friend and other congress persons from my state, republicans, continuously tell us how they hate it.
how they don't want to do that. and how they would look to see it change. and i can't understand how we continue with this same voice, while a percentage of his caucus have him wielding such immense >> representative slaughter, i think we are all trying to become parliamentarians to find a way out. thank you for helping us understand the process. appreciate it. >> let's hope for divine interference. thank you, rachel. >> always the best way forward. >> yes. >> the government was shut down. but it is amazing what still got done. and got absolutely no headlines. but some really big and some really surprising stuff got done. stay tuned. my asthma's under control. i don't miss out... you sat out most of our game yesterday!
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this clock need to be maintained to keep on ticking. it does not just tell time infinitely without human intervention. it need to be wound on a regular basis. the ohio clock which stands in the united states capitol, just outside the entrance to the chamber of the u.s. senate. it is the backdrop of senate press conferences. about a week ago the ohio clock stopped at 12:14 a.m., p.m., i don't know. 14 minutes past some 12:00 the ohio clock stopped ticking. the reason it stopped is that the government shutdown forced furloughs for the people who wind it. the curators in charge of winding the thing couldn't come to work anymore, no winding means no ticking and that means no telling time. tonight, good news the clock is back to tick another day. today the museum specialist with office of senate curator got unfurloughed along with the federal government. he came out to the hallway outside the chambers, big crowd was watching. climbed up the ladder.
he did a spin, wound the clock, checked to see its gears were up and moving. what do you know? it works. still works. we didn't screw that up. welcome back to life, ohio clock, your country is delighted to see you. though the ohio clock stopped completely during the government shutdown. the government itself did not shut completely during the shutdown and congress did not stop completely. seemed look nothing was going on but fighting over the shutdown all this time. that's not true. quietly while everybody was distracted during the shutdown, the senate, for example, confirmed three federal judges. one for northern alabama, two for illinois. the senate also last night confirmed caroline kennedy as the ambassador to japan, lawyer, democratic activist, best known as only surviving daughter of john f. kennedy. last night as congress raced to raise the debt ceiling, the senate confirmed new top lawyer for the defense department. before becoming the top lawyer
at the defense department, with last night's confirmation vote, steven preston was the top lawyer at the cia. that's what held up his nomination for months until it snuck through last night. you may remember senate intelligence committee spend years and tens of millions of dollars putting together a huge report about the cia torturing people during the bush years and lying to congress about it and lying publicly about it. that huge report is still secret. there is a big fight in washington over whether it will ever be declassified. so us regular humans can read it. what we do know about the report, we know in part because, in order to get confirmed at the pentagon, steven preston had to answer questions about the report from senator mark udall, he held up preston's nomination until he got answers. a report from the new yorker tonight, a fascinating story, people fighting how secret things should be. being the top lawyer for the defense department is a high-profile gig in washington in part because the last guy who had the job made it very high
profile. jay johnson at the center of pretty much every major national security decision of the obama administration including the president's ability to kill people abroad not in war zones. the question of whether the military could intervene in libya without a vote in congress. in this speech before resigning, jay johnson said there had to be an end to the war on terror. he led the pentagon effort to repeal don't ask/don't tell. no easy lift. mr. johnson stepped down as the pentagon's general counsel less than a year ago. today we learned that president obama is nominating him as the next secretary for the department of homeland security. the daily beast first reported to day. if approved by the senate, jay johnson will be the fourth confirmed secretary of this young but huge agency. the president set to officially announce the nomination of jay johnson for homeland security tomorrow. now for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." thank you for joining us.